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Michael La Ronn

Des Moines, IA
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 15
  • ratings
  • Invasion

  • Alien Invasion, Book 1
  • By: Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,633
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,623

They are coming. The countdown has begun. First visible only as blips on a telescope image, the discovery of objects approaching from Jupiter's orbit immediately sets humanity on edge. NASA doesn't even bother to deny the alien ships' existence. The popular Astral space app (broadcasting from the far side of the moon and accessible by anyone with Internet) has already shown the populace what is coming.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just what I was looking for!

  • By Michael on 08-28-15

Great page turner

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-15

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Invason, but I'm glad I did. It's extremely well-written, and it is definitely a page turner. I won't summarize the plot (other reviewers have done this better than I can), but the premise is fantastic and the book moves quickly.

Meyer Dempsey is probably one of my favorite Sterling & Stone main characters--I really felt like I knew him, and I found myself thinking about him even after I put the book down. My only complaint is that Meyer was so well done that the rest of the family just wasn't engaging enough to keep up with him. Not a major problem as the series is just getting started, but something I noticed. All in all though, I would recommend this series if you're a S&S fan---you won't be disappointed.

The audio narration was also good. The narrator did an excellent job with Meyer and his voice was perfect for him. I thought the other characters weren't as well-voiced, and I thought the pacing/reading could have been better. I thought some of the minor characters (the Iowans in particular) sounded too hillbilly for me, but that's a minor quip. Overall, it's a solid narration though not S&S's best.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Beam: Season 2

  • By: Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant
  • Narrated by: Rachel Fulginiti, Julia Whelan, R.C. Bray, and others
  • Length: 20 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470

Two weeks after the end of The Beam's first groundbreaking season, one thing is abundantly clear: the more the world changes, the harder those in power work behind the curtain to keep it all the same. With Shift, the NAU's national election, now just days away, the country's political parties fight even harder to win the citizen's minds—minds that are almost all permanently connected to The Beam, addicted to connectivity more deeply than any drug. Only those with the courage to think for themselves can work to change what seems like a certain future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The story deapens

  • By S. Pike on 02-26-15

Another fantastic sequel

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-15

The Beam is back--this time it goes deeper into the characters, and in many ways it's more intriguing than the first season. I won't give away any spoilers, but If you loved Season 1, you'll love this. It's dark, intriguing, philosophical without being too much so, and always entertaining.

What I love most about the series is the writing style--it translates incredibly well into audio. I listened to the audio narration, which was fantastic as usual. Podium Publishing seriously has some of the best narrators around. They make this story come ALIVE. The funny thing is that I don't normally read hard sci-fi, but I love this series. Probably the deepest and most complex series in the Sterling & Stone franchises.

I enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to Season 3. I would recommend you read this while listening to the audio version---honestly, no one should read this series without it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Fiction Unboxed

  • How Two Authors Wrote and Published a Book in 30 Days, from Scratch, in Front of the World, The Smarter Artist 2
  • By: Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt
  • Narrated by: Simon Whistler
  • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

Fiction Unboxed offers something that’s never been offered before: a naked look into two writer’s process, as they wrote and published a book in 30 days, from scratch, in front of the world. In 2013 Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant wrote and published 1.5 million words. The next year they showed the world how they did it. In May 2014, Johnny and Sean, along with their third partner David Wright, launched a Kickstarter campaign to see if their fans wanted to see how they wrote behind closed doors.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and somewhat Enlightening

  • By D. Shane Hanson on 04-05-16

Great Follow-Up to Write Publish Repeat

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-28-15

I enjoyed this audiobook, but I enjoy all of Sean and Johnny's audiobooks. This one is a true sequel to Write Publish Repeat, though I think that was its biggest disadvantage. If you followed the guys' Kickstarter campaign, this will be a lot of fun to listen to because it recaps everything they did for their campaign.

Simon Whistler did a fantastic job as always and his narration was a blast to listen to.

If you're a true fan of Sean and Johnny, I totally recommend this one. There's nothing new here per se if you already follow them, and it's not as fantastic as WPR was, but it still a good listen/read nonetheless.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Write. Publish. Repeat.

  • The No-Luck Guide to Self-Publishing Success
  • By: Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt
  • Narrated by: Simon Whistler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508

In 2013, Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt published 1.5 million words and made their full-time livings as indie authors. In Write. Publish. Repeat., they tell you how exactly how they did it: how they created over 15 independent franchises across 50+ published works, how they turned their art into a logical, sustainable business, and how any independent author can do the same to build a sustainable, profitable career with their writing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The One Book All Self Published Authors Must Read!

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-20-14

Fantastic audio companion

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-14

I've already read Write. Publish. Repeat twice, but I grabbed the audiobook because it's easier for me to listen to my favorite books when I want to read them again. WPR is a quintessential book, and I've already reviewed the content itself so I won't go into that here.

The narration was great. Simon Whistler's reading style is very conversational and smooth. He delivers a lot of the humor in the story with such a straight face that it makes the the writing style even more funny than it was in the book. His pacing was excellent, and this is one of the few audiobooks that I actually listened to at regular speed. Anything faster actually hurts the experience on this book.

My only suggestion was that I did hear a lot of breaths, particularly when the narrator started sentences. It was distracting at times, but not a showstopper by any means.

I highly recommend this.

  • The Beam: Season 1

  • By: Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant
  • Narrated by: Johnny Heller, Tara Sands, Ralph Lister, and others
  • Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 690
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 641
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 638

The world's old political borders have dissolved. The NAU is civilization's carcass, a nation ruled by two political parties: Enterprise, the sink-or-swim party where each party member has no one else to blame for their starvation or astronomical wealth; and Directorate, whose members have a guaranteed safety net but can never rise above their station.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sheer entertainment

  • By cristina on 07-09-15

One word: excellent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-14

This is the best audiobook I've heard this year. This is also the first audiobook I've listened to without reading the actual book alongside it. I'm a big fan of Sean and Johnny, but sometimes their books can get dense--not in a bad way, but you have to delve really deep inside because their worlds are insanely detailed. But their style works incredibly well in audio, so well in fact, that this is my new favorite way of consuming their stuff. The story was so much fun--all the technology, the characters, and the way their stories interweave without many of them ever meeting. It's thought-provoking, too, and it really makes you think about the future. I'm really eager to see where it goes. I didn't think I would be a Beam guy, but I ended up liking it a lot.

The narration was stellar. I especially loved Rachel Fulginiti as Kai and Ray Chase as Doc. They really brought the characters to life. All of the narrators were good, but some were stronger than others.

This was a huge audiobook, but there wasn't a single time where I found my mindwandering. It kept my attention the whole time. I highly recommend this series if you like sci-fi. If you've already read The Beam S1, you'll especially love the audio version.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Be a Free Range Human

  • By: Marianne Cantwell
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

If you're one of the many people who would love to ditch their job, break free from the daily grind and live the dream of freedom, fulfillment and financial independence, this is the book for you. Be a Free Range Human is a breezy, energizing and above all practical guide to making the break and creating the life you want. You don't need piles of funding or a business plan, an expensive logo or an MBA. You don't need to be either a millionaire entrepreneur or a skint freelancer.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Jennifer Mc Hugo on 11-27-14

Loved it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-14

I loved the ebook, but the audiobook was fantastic, too. Caroline Lennon did a great job bringing Marianne's feisty prose to life. I bought this because I am a true believer in the free range philosophy, and this is something I'll want to go back and listen to in the future. There's a lot of content here, and it will definitely take a few listens to absorb it all. A fantastic job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dream Engine

  • Blunderbuss, Book 1
  • By: Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 52

When Eila Doyle first sees the strange boy beckoning in whispers from somewhere deep in her imagination, she questioned her sanity. She was used to seeing strange things with her eyes closed - that's what Eila did all day while strapped to the Blunderbuss, building whatever the Ministry of Manifestation required - but never before have those images felt so real, or so dangerous. After Eila learns the terrible truth about her reality and the monsters inside it, she thinks that maybe madness might be her only escape.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning and Engaging - Both Story and Performance

  • By Stuffeshead on 08-18-14

Totally worth it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-14

I love Ray Chase's voice. He really nails this novel. There's so much to love: the pacing, the story,the character voices. I gave The Dream Engine ebook 4 stars, but the audio book version definitely brings it to life. I recommend this book. It's also in Kindle Whispersync, so it's a no brainer. This is an awesome production.

  • Contemplations

  • An Anthology of Short Fiction & Poetry
  • By: L.M. Stull
  • Narrated by: Hollie Jackson
  • Length: 1 hr and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Before penning her first novel, L.M. Stull found her voice and style by crafting a variety of short stories, poems, and flash fiction. Comprised of the very first words she uttered as a writer, Contemplations is a collection of tales and prose about life. Some happy. Some sad. Contemplations is filled with a multitude of writings that are sure to touch each listener in one way or another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Collection

  • By Michael La Ronn on 09-04-14

Beautiful Collection

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-04-14

This was a highly enjoyable collection of stories and poems. What really impressed me about them was the breadth of characters and emotion. There are happy stories, sad stories, disturbing stories, and stories that fall somewhere in between. I enjoy that sort of diversity in collections. The most memorable stories were "The Things You Keep to Yourself" (wow), "I Must Go", "A Lifetime of One Night Stands," and "My Vintage Rose". The last one, the longest in the collection was the most beautiful and romantic.

The prose is elegant and poetic, and I had no trouble visualizing the world that L.M. Stull painted. I also liked the variation of POV techniques that she used. Every story felt uniquely different.

I also listened to the Audible audiobook narrated by Hollie Jackson as I read this. I loved Jackson's voice. Her cadence and reading style really brought these stories to life, and I would recommend the audiobook as a companion when you read, as Jackson did an excellent job of bringing out little nuances in the characters.

This is a high quality collection, and highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Your First 1000 Copies

  • The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book
  • By: Tim Grahl
  • Narrated by: Tim Grahl
  • Length: 3 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

Imagine if you had a direct connection with thousands of readers who loved reading your books. And imagine if those readers eagerly awaited the launch of your next book. In Your First 1000 Copies, seasoned book marketing expert Tim Grahl walks you through how successful authors are using the online marketing tools to build their platform, connect with readers and sell more books.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Essential for Contemporary Authors!

  • By Author Guy on 11-25-13

A good audiobook narrated by the author

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-14

Unlike some people, I enjoy nonfiction audiobooks narrated by the author. It gives the book a flair that professional narrators can't. After all, the author knows best how to express the ideas.

That's the case here, as the author does a great job of expressing himself. I've listened to him in seminars and podcasts, and his voice is consistent.

Content-wise, this is the best book on marketing out there. If you're looking for something to listen to on the way to work, you can't do any better, especially if you're trying to focus on growing your mailing list.

Also, the bonus interview at the end with Tim was totally unexpected and greatly appreciated. I almost missed it, though.

Performance-wise, this could have been better, but that's to be expected from an author-narrated book. There were a few run-on sentences and choppy reads that could have been better. They weren't too distracting, but they were noticeable.

This was a great audiobook, and I'd definitely listen to it again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Fat Vampire
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Johnny B. Truant
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Matt Josdal VOplanet Studios
    
    


    
    Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
    203 ratings
    Overall 4.3
  • Fat Vampire

  • By: Johnny B. Truant
  • Narrated by: Matt Josdal VOplanet Studios
  • Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189

When overweight treadmill salesman Reginald Baskin finally meets a co-worker who doesn't make fun of him, it's just his own bad luck that tech guy Maurice turns out to be a two thousand-year-old vampire. And when Maurice turns Reginald to save his life, it's just Reginald's own further bad luck that he wakes up to discover he's become the slowest, weakest, most out-of-shape vampire ever born, doomed to "heal" to his corpulent self for all of eternity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grows On You and becames Warm and Fuzzy

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 12-15-16

A great audiobook to a great book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-14

I received this audiobook as a review copy from the author. I had already bought the Value Pack a few weeks before but hadn't gotten around to reading it, so I figured it was a good time to start. I'll keep my review strictly to the audiobook, but I will say that I enjoyed the story. It was fresh, original, and hilarious--probably one of the few stories this year that actually made me laugh out loud while reading.

The quality of the audiobook is excellent. The narrator does an exceptional job with the characters. His expression was spot on for each, and he did a great job switching between narration and voices. I particularly liked Reginald and Logan's character voices (especially Logan's). The narrator is clearly a professional, and he "got" the novel.

I enjoyed the performance, too. A lot of audiobooks I've heard are simple reads of the book. When needed, the narrator actually acted out the scenes and gave the characters emotion, which I wish more narrators would do. This audiobook will keep you engaged and entertained the whole time.

My only criticism of the audio version is that there were a few sections where there were either: hesitation on the part of the narrator or sentences/paragraphs repeated twice, which was slightly jarring. But as someone who produces audiobooks myself, I understand that you can't catch everything. These don't detract from the overall experience of the novel and are easily fixable by the narrator.

I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone looking for a great novel to listen to while traveling to/from work, or if you like audiobooks. It won't disappoint. I assume that this will be available on WhisperSync for Voice, which will make it an even better deal because Book 1 in the series is free anyway, and you can get the audiobook for super cheap!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful